Alanna Sing ’16 isn’t your typical student pharmacist. Her love for animals, specifically horses, inspired her to pursue a nontraditional career path of becoming a veterinary pharmacist. This career path will allow Sing to provide services to customers by treating their animals, the patients. Sing has been riding horses since she was five. She joined the rodeo team when she studied at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo where she also earned her bachelor’s in animal science. Her interest in pharmacy peaked after spending three months volunteering at a local community pharmacy. Sing was moved by how well the owner knew all his patients’ names and his dedication to fostering relationships with them.
Sing, a member of the doctor of pharmacy class of 2016, already has a jumpstart on her career. Recently she completed courses required for a certificate in the AmerisourceBergen Good Neighbor Pharmacy Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice Program. This past October, the Visalia native received the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation Presidential Scholarship in recognition for her leadership qualities, accomplishments and interest in independent pharmacy, as well as her involvement in extracurricular activities.
“It’s an honor to receive the scholarship because there are so many qualified candidates,” she said.
Though only a few hours from home, Sing couldn’t resist bringing two horses to Stockton. “I ride every day,” she said, adding that she trains her own horses and competes at least twice a month. Her dedication to the sport gives her opportunities to improve her veterinary skills. She explained that medications made for humans have been adapted to treat animals, but there are challenges in administering the medication.
“I’ve found creative ways to treat my horses when they are sick,” Sing said. “Recently I dissolved the medication in their grain, but they were able to tell the difference.”
Sing understands that her dream of owning a veterinary pharmacy could be expensive and challenging but the entrepreneurial pharmacy courses make it seem possible.
“I’m also learning so much from the guest speakers, who are great pharmacists and business people,” she said. “I think it’s a crazy dream but the program is teaching me how to be creative about how I approach it.”